Good news from J.B. Kenney at Occupy SD:
“CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE GREAT SPEAKERS at yesterday's press conference at San Diego Civic Center. (Martin Eder from Activists SD, Sandy N, from Labor Council, Julie on day 4 of her Hunger Strike, and Jim Miller, AFT Vice-President, author & SDCC Prof.) And to SUPPORTERS AND ALL OF THE 24-HOUR OCCUPIERS WHO HAVE HELD THAT SACRED GROUND FOR OSD FOR SO LONG.
“WE AT OCCUPY SAN DIEGO HAVE RE-OCCUPIED CIVIC CENTER (at least for the time being.) A group of us held our ground -and our sleeping bags- in front of City Council doors to get the message our on how abusive our local politicians are in ignoring the U.S. Constitution, us Occupiers, and condoning the numerous criminal and violent acts of the SDPD.
“For anyone who'd like to join the fun, we'll be there again tonight, enjoying the Federal court orders signed by the City Attorney jump'n Jan Goldsmith on 2/8/2011, to OCCUPY OUR SPACE FROM 9pm-6am, at the least. It is still not a crime to be poor &/or homeless in a system so thoroughly broke and corrupt.”
America Declares War on Itself
The blow-back from the Senate vote on the National Defense Authorization Act continues but most of the mainstream media is nowhere to be found. Here's a few samples from the exceptions:
FORBES: NDAA is the 'greatest threat' to civil liberties in America:
NY Times blog: “The Pentagon, the intelligence community, the Justice Department and the White House oppose the detainee rules. The people who would have to carry out these boneheaded policies think they would actually weaken national security.”
Alternet: Is Gitmo in your future? “Ambiguous but alarming new wording, which is tucked into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and was just passed by the Senate, is reminiscent of the 'extraordinary measures' introduced by the Nazis after they took power in 1933.”
Huff Post: Former FBI special agent Colleen Rowley fears what NDAA means for Americans. “The political, military industrial, corporate class in Washington DC continues to re-make our constitutional republic into a powerful, unaccountable military empire.”
Gawker: “Initially the provisions passed in a closed-door committee meeting, without a single hearing. The Senate didn't want to spoil the surprise for everybody.”
Amnesty International's analysis: Welcome to the war: http://blog.amnestyusa.org/waronterror/welcome-to-the-war/
Strangely enough, Fox has caught the NDAA bug as well, the criticism directly opposed to the 44 Republicans that voted for it. As usual, Fox hyperbole crafts the message.
“Fox Business (TV): NDAA -- the National Defense Authorization Act -- may legalize 'murder' of American citizens on US soil by the military without due process, trial, or attorney.”
The New York Times points out that the top law enforcement officials, along with a bunch of generals and even some leftover Bushies, are not exactly thrilled with this legislation. Apparently, it doesn't make a lot of sense to anyone except to those that attended the secret meeting that produced it.
“In recent days, several top national security officials — including the secretary of defense, Leon Panetta; the director of national intelligence, James Clapper; and the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert S. Mueller III, have voiced opposition to the proposal, as have several former counterterrorism officials from the Bush administration.
"But among Republican senators, there was nearly unanimous support for keeping the detainee provisions in the bill: 44 Republicans voted for them, while two — Mark Kirk of Illinois and Rand Paul of Kentucky — voted to remove them.”
That's right. 44 Republican senators think it might be necessary to imprison American citizens without charges or a trial. What is it they fear? Do they know things about the state of the global economy that we don't? I think we can make that assumption, and if one assumes that the banks are in bigger trouble than we know, wouldn't it follow that their enablers and protectors would perceive the occupy phenomenon as an unfortunate, and untimely, turn of events? The real problem of course, is that we have shifted the focus of the public forum to issues that banks and financial executives would rather not discuss. They have trillions of reasons not to.
There are many economists, pundits and financial advisors that have been pointing out the dismal state of affairs the banks have wrought on the rest of the population. Now to protect them and their interests, we see secret meetings, obviously including McCain and Levin, emerging with mind-boggling attacks on our freedoms and liberties. Is there anything they can't acquire just by making a few calls to their loyal lap dogs?
Apparently, when the banks became uncomfortable with all these protests, threatened by them perhaps, they simply make a call and the U.S. Senate gets to work allaying their fears; secretly and quickly. In this case, bringing in the full force of the U.S. Military, necessarily accompanied by the casual removal of habeas corpus from U.S. law. What is truly astounding is that this legal concept has its roots in the Magna Carta which has served as the model for every modern democracy in existence today. The U.S. Senate just negated more than 700 years of progress that led to free-capitalist societies, naturally based on fundamental rights.
Amazing how fast legislation can reach the floor when it protects the financial services industry and strips Americans of their property, their savings, their investments and their civil rights. It is entirely possible that the banks, knowing that they are culpable and vulnerable to bad ink from here to eternity, are pulling out the stops as far as lobbying efforts to thwart the Occupation Movement. The CCA just proved it here in Los Angeles.
So the lobbying continues to pay dividends for politicians like Mayor Villaraigosa who didn't have to wait long for the CCA to respond to his eviction of Occupy Wall Street followers. The CCA endorsement was symbolic in many ways, a stamp of approval announced within hours of the successful raids by police. Here's your cookie Mayor. Others would like to avoid these subjects as well:
Walsh runs from occupy protesters:
Levin on NDAA
Obama to sign 1031?
Truly unbellievable, but of course the President promised a veto right? Uh, well, maybe.
Contact your representatives about the NDAA at the following links:
Occupy Portland is gearing up for a march against NDAA tomorrow, preceded by a seminar to educate those who haven't read the 900-page document.
The ports action has been promoted here as an official event; the following article is provided for the sake of full disclosure:
“Richard Mead, president of ILWU Local 10, which represents dockworkers at the Port of Oakland, said, 'Our position is in the international's press release. We're not facilitating (Occupy Oakland's strike call) in any way. We just want that clear.'
“Jeff Smith, president of ILWU Local 8 in Portland, Ore., went further, telling the Portland Tribune his union won't honor picket lines. 'This is a third-party strike. We have to go to work,' he said.”
The grandson of Caesar Chavez was arrested along with 290 others on Wednesday. His father wrote this open letter on his blog:
“I usually send these messages as president of the United Farm Workers. Today, I'm speaking as a father. My son, Arthur S. Rodriguez, has been participating since early October when he wasn't in college with Occupy L.A.'s encampment outside City Hall in downtown Los Angeles. Like so many others, he joined the global Occupy Wall Street movement because he feels strongly about the tremendous economic inequality plaguing this country and the world. Arthur pitched in by organizing trash disposal in an environmentally sustainable, zero-waste manner and helped arrange workshops for occupiers on environmental, labor and economic issues.
“Early Wednesday morning, Arthur decided to join a group to make a firm statement about their commitment to Occupy's chief aim of exposing economic inequality by being arrested when police closed down the Occupy encampment at City Hall. Since then, he has stayed in jail, joining with his fellow occupiers in remaining true to that commitment. He will hopefully be released by Friday at the latest.
“We are proud of Arthur for his activism and commitment in the tradition of his grandfather, Cesar Chavez, and the farm worker movement. We are proud he and his fellow occupiers maintained their discipline of nonviolence both during their arrests and while at the detention center."
Si Se Puede!
Arturo S. Rodriguez, President
United Farm Workers of America
And unfortunately, it has become necessary to post the following advisory: